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Influencer

How Many Followers to Be an Influencer? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

February 9, 2022

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Influencer marketing has quickly grown in popularity over the years. More and more people are now relying on the opinion of social media influencers to make purchase decisions. As a result, brands have turned to more influencer marketing to promote their products and boost sales.

If you’re like most social media users, then you’ve probably wondered how you can become an Instagram influencer and start earning money by promoting brands. 

This blog post will answer one of the most frequently asked questions from social media users: how many followers to be an influencer? 

Social media influencers explained

An influencer is a social media personality who has built a loyal audience by sharing content that entertains, informs, or inspires their followers. 

Influencers work across several verticals using social media posts, reels, videos, or stories to build a name for themselves over time. They can be anyone from a vlogger, blogger, or online entrepreneur. 

The most interesting part about the influencer concept, though, is that influencers themselves do not have to be well-established celebrities or renowned athletes. Instead, most influencers are everyday people who have risen through the ranks of social media to gain hundreds or thousands of followers by consistently posting content on various channels.

To businesses, hiring influencers represents a solid marketing opportunity. Recent studies have revealed that brands can gain up to $6.5 for each dollar they invest in online marketing. Running with social media influencer marketing campaigns can allow businesses to explore more-profitable avenues, gain more credibility, and reach a wider audience.

How many followers do you need to be an influencer on social media?

There’s no set amount of followers you need to have to become a social media influencer. Any social media user can become a social media influencer.

Naturally, businesses don’t want to waste any of their marketing budgets when working with influencers. So they prioritize engagement rates over everything else. With high engagement, businesses can achieve better product awareness, improved visibility, and potential sales. 

With that said, having a high follower count doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a high engagement rate. 

In fact, according to a recent study, social media influencers with 1,000 followers had 85% higher engagement than those with 100,000 or more followers. Generally, as your followers increase in number, your engagement levels tend to decrease. 

To determine your engagement rate, you need to:

  • Get the total of your likes and comments on a select number of posts
  • Divide this figure by the number of your posts 
  • Divide further by the number of followers 
  • Multiply the number you get by 100

That said, it makes zero sense posting on social media when no one is interacting with what you’re putting out. If your social media is just you shouting into the void, then you likely won’t attract any brands for promotions.

The secret to winning on social media is to build relationships with other people and share content that people actually want to see. Building trust and loyalty will give you the opportunity to promote a product that you believe in to your followers – regardless of how small that number may be. 

Types of social media influencers 

In the past, the label “influencer” belonged to larger-than-life, charismatic personalities who had thousands or millions of followers on social media. 

But in recent times, a new breed of influencers has popped up: nano-influencers and micro-influencers. They’ve grown in popularity and brands have realized the value of hiring them for their marketing campaigns. 

Below, we’ll discuss each of the four tiers of influencers: 

  • Nano-influencer
  • Micro-influencer
  • Macro-influencer
  • Mega-influencer

Nano-influencers 

A nano-influencer is your typical social media user who has cultivated a highly-engaged audience. Compared to everyday social media fans, they may not seem to be too different – most of their posts feature social media content like memes, funny videos, and photos of their loved ones. Their following ranges from 100 to 10,000 followers, and they don’t consider themselves professional “influencers” in any way.

Typically, a nano-influencer and their followers share a common interest such as fitness, personal finance, or vlogging. They appeal to a very specific group and they’re often considered authorities in a specific niche. 

Nano-influencers are an ideal fit for brands selling relatively affordable products and are aiming for brand awareness. Businesses selling high-end products can have a difficult time distributing their products to many influencers so they often choose macro-influencers instead. 

That said, here’s how nano-influencers can help businesses: 

Higher engagement 

In the eyes of followers, nano-influencers may seem more approachable and authentic than celebrities. They often interact with their followers and are more concerned with building and sustaining relationships. 

For this reason, they usually get more likes, click-throughs, and comments at a higher rate than people with hundreds of thousands of followers. 

More affordable

Newly-launched businesses can find great value in nano-influencers. They can use a high volume of influencers to get the word out, without breaking the bank. 

Also, some nano-influencers may be willing to promote a brand they love in exchange for some free products. For businesses with a tight marketing budget, this can be hugely beneficial. 

More trustworthy 

Most nano-influencers are very selective about the products they choose to promote. The reason why? 

They don’t want to lose their followers’ trust. Most of their followers consider them a friend, and endorsing a subpar product may harm the relationship they’ve built with their audience.  

Word-of-mouth recommendations

Nano-influencers often know a lot of their followers personally. So an endorsement from them may act as a direct word-of-mouth recommendation. 

Easier to work with 

Nano-influencers are often more agreeable to a brand’s terms and conditions compared to established influencers. 

Micro-influencers 

A micro-influencer is a social media user with a larger online presence than a normal user but smaller than a celebrity’s. They have between 1,000 and 1,000 followers and they’re typically considered experts in their niche. Their interests could range from traveling, designing, to blogging. 

As they’re still trying to make a name for themselves, micro-influencers tend to make more of an effort in creating quality content compared to more established influencers.

Here’s why brands choose to work with micro-influencers over other types of influencers: 

Higher engagement 

Similar to nano-influencers, micro-influencers interact frequently with their followers. They respond to questions and comments quickly and provide valuable advice to their loyal followers. More often than not, this translates to higher engagement. 

Affordability

Even though micro-influencers charge higher rates than nano-influencers, their services are still relatively affordable. The amount businesses pay depends on an influencer’s audience size and engagement. But generally, the average price per sponsored post is $1,000. 

By working with multiple micro-influencers, brands can cast a wider net and reach different types of audiences at an affordable price. 

More authentic 

Micro-influencers don’t have the budget of a celebrity influencer. They make simple promotional videos and posts that connect with their followers. To their followers, endorsements often seem like genuine advice from a friend. 

Contrastingly, some of the overproduced promotional posts from celebrities normally seem soulless. Take a peek at our list of rising fitness influencers.

Macro-influencers 

A micro-influencer’s follower count usually differs depending on the social media platform. On Instagram, for instance, macro-influencers generally have at least 500,000 followers but no more than 1 million. On YouTube, they can have between 100,000 to 1 million views. 

Generally, though, most macro-influencers have between 100,000 and 1 million followers.

Macro-influencers are mostly either TV personalities, athletes, or thought leaders. They use their status to grow a community on social media platforms for a fraction of the time it takes lesser-known influencers. They manage their social channels like a real business and create content very regularly. 

Here’s why brands choose to partner with them: 

Huge reach 

Partnering with macro-influencers offers businesses an opportunity to reach a huge audience within a short time. Even though their services are expensive, macro-influencers are a worthy investment as they allow businesses to maximize the visibility of their campaigns.

Diversity 

Most macro-influencers have a diverse audience. Their followers have a wide range of interests and passions. This presents a valuable advertising opportunity for brands that target a wide spectrum of consumers.

Credibility 

Breaking into a new market is difficult. Businesses normally struggle to shatter the trust barrier between their newly-launched products and potential customers. 

Macro-influencers help break this trust barrier. Since they have their own reputation and have a myriad of loyal followers, they can help businesses introduce new products and services with ease.

Their followers can perceive a business as trustworthy simply because a personality they love and trust has positively promoted it. 

Easier to find 

Unlike nano-influencers, maco-influencers are visible to businesses. Chances are high that most marketers already know them. Businesses, therefore, don’t need to spend a lot of time looking for the right influencer. 

Professionalism 

Many macro-influencers have agencies or managers who handle their negotiations. Managers tend to be professional in any dealings and often have specific terms and conditions. Brands can easily choose the influencer to work with based on these conditions. 

Mega-influencers 

Mega-influencers are at the top of the pecking order of social media influencers. They’re huge social media stars with over 1 million followers. They’re the A-list celebrities you always see on TV; the internet personalities that appear on every advertisement; or the singers with millions of streams. 

Mega-influencers are a good fit for corporations with an enormous marketing budget that are aiming for mass brand awareness. Since mega-influencers are not popular only on social media, any endorsement they make is likely to reach millions of people. 

Other reasons why companies choose to partner with mega-influencers include: 

Professionalism 

Most mega-influencers have worked with a lot of renowned brands and have accumulated a wealth of experience in professionally running marketing campaigns. Businesses partnering with them normally have an easier time as they don’t have to guide them on how to advertise effectively. 

Credibility 

The buzz that mega-influencers create makes it easy for brands to build credibility. Even the mere mention of a product from a particular brand can lead to thousands of fans flocking to own it. 

The bottom line

There has never been a better time to start a career as an influencer, with the demand for influencer marketing at an all-time high. Brands of all sizes are constantly looking for influencers to improve their visibility and build brand awareness.

That said, if you’re looking to start your journey to become a fitness influencer, then consider signing up for System 2. We’ll help you come up with a business roadmap, offer you coaching workout templates, and help you onboard new fitness clients. We’ll even build you an intuitive fitness website to capture leads. Contact us today

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